The National Noh Theater is located in Shibuya City, a mere three minutes walk from Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden. Opened in 1983, the facility is run by the Japan Arts Council and hosts various noh, kyogen, kabuki, and bunraku performances throughout the year.
The nearly 600-seat theater is composed primarily of wood and features an elegant 400-year-old cypress stage with a pine tree painted on the back, which is customary for noh stages. The facility also includes a rehearsal stage, lecture room, and reference library, as well as an exhibition area called the Traditional Performing Arts Information Centre. This center is located on the first floor and displays costumes, props, and ukiyo-e woodblock prints. It is free to enter and is open from 10:00–18:00.
You can purchase tickets online, reserve them by phone, or buy them at the theater.
Noh is a traditional form of Japanese theater that uses music, dance, gestures, masks, and elaborate costumes to tell a story that is often related to legends and history. Kyogen, on the other hand, is a comedic performance that relies on witty dialogue to make the audience laugh. The combination of the two, in which kyogen is performed during breaks in the noh performance, is called nogaku and is recognized as an UNESCO Intangible Cultural Property. Kabuki is another form of traditional theater that utilizes song and dance for storytelling, and bunraku is a type of Japanese puppet theater.